Introducing Luxembourg~Land of my Pletschette and Palen Ancestors

Luxembourg city
Luxembourg city (Photo credit: nunor)

English: Luxembourg City: Fortress with Bastio...

Luxembourg Ardennes, Luxembourg

Luxembourg is fairy-tale stuff…complete with the happy ending. The story of this land’s tumultuous history beguiles with its counts and dynasties, wars and victories, fortresses and promontories. Only the dragon is missing. It’s no surprise that Luxembourgers are a proud people whose national motto, Mir wëlle bleiwe wat mir sin (‘We want to remain what we are’), sums up their independent spirit. The population of 469,000 is predominantly rural based – the only centres of any size are the capital, Luxembourg City, followed by Esch-sur-Alzette.

Though too small for its full name to fit on most European maps, pint-sized Luxembourg (2586 sq km, or 82km long and 57km wide) is wonderfully diverse. Lush highlands and valleys in the northern Ardennes merge effortlessly with the Müllerthal’s ancient forested landscape to the east, where the vibrant town of Echternach makes an enjoyable base. The impossibly picturesque and ridiculously romantic (not to mention tourist-flooded) Vianden is just a short trip north from Luxembourg City; in the southeast snakes the Moselle Valley with its steep vineyards and riverside hamlets. In between all this are rolling farmlands dotted with pristine, pastel-toned houses and medieval hilltop castles.

Luxembourg’s cuisine is French and German based. The national dish is judd mat gaardebounen – slabs of smoked pork served in a thick cream-based sauce with chunks of potato and broad beans. Other specialities include ferkelsrippchen (grilled spareribs), liewekniddelen mat sauerkraut (liver meatballs with sauerkraut) and kachkeis (a cooked cheese). Beers to sink include BofferdingDiekirch, Mousel and Simon Pils, after which comes a host of local fruity white and sparkling wines. From 2008 you can enjoy all this in an untainted environment, thanks to recent legislation banning smoking in restaurants and, during dining hours, in cafés.

European Capital of Culture in 2007, Luxembourg’s moment in the spotlight has arrived.

Last updated: Feb 17, 2009

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Country Flag of Luxembourg Luxembourg
District Diekirch
Township Wiltz
Town Boulaide
Contact 49 ° 54 ’00 “N 5 ° 49′ 01” E 49 ° 54 ’00 “North 
5 ° 49 ’01 “East

Geolocation on the map: Luxembourg

Show map topographic Luxembourg

My Luxembourger ancestors were from Bachleiden, Diekirch, Wiltz, Luxembourg. The Palen and Pletschette families emigrated to America in 1862 and settled in Caledonia, Houston County, Minnesota.

Holiday Traditions of Luxembourg = “Frohliche Weihnachten”

christmas-markets-luxembourgchristmas market, luxembourg

Holiday Traditions of Luxembourg

“Frohliche Weihnachten”

From the beginning of December, streets and store windows in all major cities are richly illuminated and decorated. Christmas trees, in all their glitter, adorn public squares. Out-door Christmas markets throughout the country attract many shoppers. French is the official language, German is taught in schools, and English is also widely spoken. The majority of the population is Roman Catholic.

Most people in Luxembourg celebrate Christmas Eve with family and friends. Many attend Midnight Mass, after which the family gathers for supper consisting sometimes of a typical Luxembourg winter menu: black-pudding with mashed potatoes and apple sauce.

The Midnight Mass in the Benedictine Abbey of St. Maurice and St. Maure in Clervaux (a small picturesque Ardennes town) is of great renown and has been televised in recent years.

Clubs and associations also organize Christmas Eve and Christmas Day festivities. Some cities produce Nativity plays, with children as actors, others give concerts in the afternoon of December 25th. In some villages, these concerts are followed by a Christmas tree auction, the profits of which are given to charity organizations.

There is no Santa Claus in Luxembourg at Christmas time, however “St.Nicolas Day” is celebrated on December 6th. On evenings – one week – before this date, children put their slippers in front of their bed-room doors expecting them to be filled with a small gift by St. Nicolas during the night. On the eve of December 6th, children place a plate on the kitchen or dining-room table which St.Nicolas fills with sweets and gifts overnight. St. Nicolas also pays visits to children in schools.

Holy Family Manger, Downtown Luxembourg City, LuxembourgLuxembourg City, Luxembourg, Christmas Market